CRUISING THE RHINE AND MOSELLE
On October 26th I will be cruising the Rhine and Moselle rivers and would love to have everyone join me on this great cruise. Starting in Amsterdam, we will cruise down the scenic Rhine River and on to the Moselle, which has been called the most beautiful river in Europe.
Welcome aboard The AMA Lucia, for the start of our cruise of The Vineyards of the Rhine & Moselle.
There are 165 canals in Amsterdam, and we will get to enjoy some of them on our canal cruise. View the narrow houses, built that way because of taxes. Be amazed how goods were transported to the upper floors. They say that necessity is the mother of invention and you can see it in action in the homes that line the canals.
After our introduction to Amsterdam, it’s time to set sail. What a great time to meet our fellow travelers and acquaint ourselves with The AMALucia, our luxury home for the next 7 days.
We start our cruising on the Rhine by going to Cologne. This is the home of one of Germany’s most revered Gothic masterpieces, the Cologne Cathedral. One of the most interesting sites in the Cathedral is the display which houses the remains of the Three Wise Men. https://www.koelner-dom.de/.
Also on the tour is the Cologne Rathaus, Germany’s oldest town hall, the Old Market and the Heumarkt. Most of the ports on this cruise feature wine, but here in Cologne beer is king. Why not make a quick stop at one of the many local pubs and sample the famous Kölsch beer. It’s only made in Cologne While you’re at it, you should sample the reibekuchen, potato pancakes typically served with applesauce.
While I appreciate a good glass of beer, what I love above all else is chocolate. I truly enjoyed visiting the chocolate museum in Cologne. Not only was I able to indulge there, but I was persuaded to bring home something for friends and family. Why not join me in my quest for the perfect piece of chocolate. https://www.schokoladenmuseum.de/en/
On our way to Rudesheim we will pass through the Rhine Gorge. Arguably this is one of the most scenic passages on the river. We will glide by some of the dozens of castles that line the banks and have the opportunity to take some truly spectacular photos from the sun deck. Once in Rudesheim, we have several choices of excursions.
Drink up the stunning views by soaring high above the vineyards with a gondola ride to the Niederwalddenkmal Statue, and afterwards, be treated to a wine tasting.
For a more active adventure, we can hike through the town’s beautiful vineyards or join a guided bike tour along the scenic Rhine River to admire the Rheingau.
Later in the day, let Siegfried’s Mechanical Musical Instrument Museum charm you. What a delight this tour was. In this age of all digital, it was wonderful to see and hear these mechanical devices still working as they were intended. https://www.smmk.de/pages/de/willkommen.php
On the way back to the ship we can stop at one of the cafes in town. Here we can indulge in one of the town’s special delights, Rüdesheimer coffee. It’s ceremoniously made with brandy, coffee and whipped cream. YUM! A great end to another wonderful day on the river.
MAINZ – LAHNSTEIN
As we arrive in Mainz, we can join a walking tour of the many historic treasures. Included is one of Germany’s most important churches, St. Stephan’s Cathedral; home to the famous Chagall stained-glass windows. These magnificent windows were created by Chagall in hopes they would help heal the wounds left by WWII. As you gaze at them, you will see his deep commitment to that. This was the last commission of his life and his lifelong friend Charles Marq was tasked with finishing what he knew he couldn’t.
“For me a stained glass window is a transparent partition between my heart and the heart of the world”
Marc Chagall Quote
Another alternative is a walking tour of Mainz’s Old Town with a visit to the Gutenberg Museum. Here you will learn more about the German visionary’s inventions and have an opportunity to admire two of his original mid-15th century Gutenberg Bibles.
For a more active adventure, go on a guided bike tour through Mainz. (See you back at the ship) Later in the day, cruise to Lahnstein. Cap the day off with a visit to Lahneck Castle.
MOSELLE VALLEY – COCHEM
Spend the morning taking in the beauty of the Moselle on this scenic stretch of the river before reaching Cochem with its half-timbered houses and Reichsburg Castle.
We can join a guided tour through the castle and then walk through its Old Town. If you aren’t in the castle mood, let’s take a different adventure and tour one of Europe’s oldest working mustard mills. We can sample Cochem’s famous mustard. For those of you wishing to have a more active exploration of the area, you can hike up to the Reichsburg Castle or go on a guided bike tour through Cochem.
Walk through Bernkastel’s colorful Old Town center and past many medieval and Renaissance buildings on a guided tour that also includes a winery visit and tasting.
Hikers can opt to trek up to the ruins of Landshut Castle, which dates all the way back to the 9th century and cycling enthusiasts can choose to join a bike tour along the Moselle.
LUXEMBOURG – DISEMBARKATION – PARIS
All good things must come to an end so we now disembark the ship, bid farewell to our crew and prepare for our return flight home.
BUT WAIT! I’m taking the post-cruise extension that gives me two nights in Reims so that I can indulge my other passion (besides chocolate) – Champagne.
When we disembark in Luxemburg on our journey to Reims we will have a walking tour of Luxembourg and then visit The American Cemetery and Memorial, which is the final resting place of General George S. Patton. Once checked into the hotel in Reims, I think I will set out to explore this ancient city including the Cathedral Notre Dame de Reims, which has seen the coronation of many French Kings. https://www.cathedrale-reims.com/ So much history and beauty.
Today, it is on to driving the route of champagne. Along this route are some of the most famous names in champagne; Epernay, Veuve Clicquot and Moet et Chandon. All this and driving through a beautiful countryside.
After checking out of the hotel, on the way to Paris there is a final tour in Reims of WWI sites such as the Belleau Wood American World War Monument.
We are in a different world today that we were last year and for this reason it is more important than ever to depend on the knowledge and expertise of a travel agent. I am committed to making sure you have the most up-to-date information available to make your vacation what you have dreamed it to be. We have all waited to be able to travel and now is the time to savor the joy of travel with friends and family. To that end, I have created several articles with tips to help you with the decision-making process.
Here is a must-read article on avoiding river cruise booking mistakes. Contact me at Unique Journeys. I will assist you in finding the perfect cruise experience where you will create memories for a lifetime. You are welcome to find additional information at AMA Waterways regarding the luxury river cruise experience.
Let’s Get Cruisin’